APAL welcomes the appointment of fifth generation Goulburn Valley orchardist Mitchell McNab to the role of Chairman of Fruit Growers Victoria (FGV), announced this week.
CEO Phil Turnbull congratulated Mitchell on his appointment and said APAL very much looked forward to working with him in his new role.
He also congratulated third-generation orchardist Nathan Barolli, recently awarded APAL’s Rising Star Award at Hort Connections 2018, on his appointment to join the FGV board and paid tribute to retiring chair Gary Godwill.
“Half of Australia’s apples and 90 per cent of its pears are grown in the Goulburn Valley and it is vital that Victorian growers have a strong, experienced and active organisation to represent them at a national level,” he said.
“Mitchell and Nathan represent a new generation of orchardists. It is very good news for the industry to see the next generation stepping up with such passion to leadership. Mitchell brings to the role of chair a knowledge of and interest in technology and a passion for the industry that will be of great value in driving orchard productivity.”
Mitchell manages his family’s H.V. McNab & Sons orchard and cold storage complex. He has recently completed a Nuffield Scholarship investigating innovative robotics technology for the horticultural sector, especially for fruit growing and packing operations. He has been part of FGV’s Emerging Leaders group, a regular attendee at APAL Future Orchards events, as well as participating in the 2017 APAL-run Washington Study Tour.
Nathan helps run his family’s four apple and pear orchards in Shepparton East and a joint venture in Batlow, in NSW, as well as a packhouse in Shepparton.
Mitchell succeeds Gary Godwill, who is retiring from the position of chairman but will remain as a director.
He said he was excited about the opportunities for Victorian fruit growers and the role FGV could play in turning these opportunities into reality.
“We produce high quality, safe and clean fruit that consumers in Australia and around the world want,” he said. “We need to be innovative in the way we do business to make sure we can compete with producers elsewhere and meet this consumer demand profitably.
“FGV has an important role to play in helping businesses across the industry adopt these new technologies, and I’m looking forward to being part of that. I’d also like to continue the excellent work of FGV on key policy issues such as water, labour availability, co-ordinated pest management, and developing human capacity across the industry.”
Mitchell also paid tribute to former chairman Gary Godwill’s lengthy service to the industry.
“Gary has been on the FGV board for 10 years and has served as Chairman for the past four. He has been a great leader for our industry, regularly providing a strong voice for fruit growers in the local and national media, and leading important policy debates. I’m pleased Gary will remain on the board to ensure we have a good mix of youth and experience leading the industry.”
Nathan Barolli joins the board to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of director Brent Reeve.
The inaugural Fruit Growers Victoria conference will be held on 16-17 August in Shepparton.